Molemela gets double honour

Ramatsiyi Moholoa

Ramatsiyi Moholoa

The Free State provincial government plans to introduce two yearly tournaments in honour of veteran soccer administrator Petros "Whitehead" Molemela.

This was announced by Joe Mafereka, Free State MEC for local government and housing, at the Sowetan Extra Time in Bloemfontein on Thursday night.

Mafereka spoke at the monthly social gathering for soccer administrators, supporters and business people in his capacity as Free State 2010 World Cup political head.

Elaborating on the plans to honour Molemela, who he described as "my muti", Mafereka said there will be an inter-school tournament.

In addition, the government will introduce a major competition that will feature some of the local soccer powerhouses.

"We are negotiating with Bloemfontein Celtic's management for the Ntate Molemela Cup. We want to give him a pension," said Mafereka.

"We should achieve our objectives in terms of the two tournaments we are planning to use in honour of Ntate Molemela."

Mafereka urged Free Staters who would like to benefit from the 2010 World Cup not to panic, saying there will be too many opportunities on offer for them.

The humorous Mafereka said the provincial government and City of Mangaung have made a commitment that first preference would be given to local service providers.

"An appeal must go to business not to attempt to maximise their profit margins at the cost of broader developmental goals of our province, such as job creation, skills development and social upliftment of communities.

"A balance has to be struck, particularly during the course of the 2010 affair, between profit making and social upliftment."

On the issue of tourism, Mafereka said: "There is no doubt tourism should be one of our legacy projects for 2010."

Monk Nkomo, Sowetan managing editor, said the newspaper in association with Famous Grouse and brought Extra Time to Free State in recognition of their ever-growing passion for soccer, adding that Molemela deserves a monument in his honour in his recognition of his role in the development of football in the country.

Molemela was at the function, as were Safa national executive member Obakeng Molatedi, former Bafana Bafana coach Styles Phumo, Free State Stars' Rantsi Mokoena, George Mohlakoana (City of Mangaung 2010 World Cup chief executive) and Molatelo Malehopo (Athletics SA development manager).